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LTBE - Chapter 440: They Will Be

The following journey was also smooth-sailing for Roel and the others.

Fatigue inevitably accumulated for the heretics and the inquisitors over the weeks, especially with the convoy attempting to make haste, but the mood was much lighter than before.

For one, the heretics and the inquisitors were far more united after the epic battle against the evil cultists. Additionally, Nora’s presence in the party inspired solidarity and confidence, and this kept the morale high.

Count Hanks had tried his best to keep the morale high when they were on their way to Tark Prairie too, but his prestige was severely lacking compared to the revered princess of the Xeclydes.

Furthermore, Nora had been emanating the aura of the Angel King throughout the journey. Humans could hardly perceive it, but high-level demonic beasts with keen instincts were extremely sensitive to it. Most powerful demonic beasts chose to keep their distance, reducing the number of enemies the convoy faced along the way by more than half.

Thanks to that, the heretics and inquisitors had time to rest, putting them in a much better condition. Besides, they had also gained plenty of experience along the way, allowing them to be more efficient than ever.

Even so, Roel and the others were still unable to reach the Theocracy before that day.

Moments before dawn, the campfire was still faintly crackling.

The patrolling soldiers finally returned under the dim illumination of flame, but they didn’t clamor loudly to wake the others up like they usually did. Instead, they began talking softly amongst themselves, sometimes letting out a quiet chuckle.

The soldiers who were on sentry duty also had smiles on their faces despite the monotonous shifts. The more devout inquisitors even made preparations to begin their prayers.

The Genesis Goddess Church had many believers, but its doctrines were very lax. The believers of the religion weren’t obliged to pray to Goddess Sia every morning. There was only one reason why the inquisitors were behaving in such a manner today—it was the New Year.

“I know that you’re exhausted from your sentry duty, but you can’t sleep in today. It’s almost time.”

“… Sorry. It was too peaceful last night. I ended up falling asleep.”

In the carriage, Nora poked Roel’s cheek and woke him up with a faint smile. Roel slowly roused from his sleep and apologized, not at all surprised by her presence.

Legend has it that at the first ray of sunlight on New Year’s Day, Sia lays her gaze upon the world and listens to the voices of all beings.

New Year’s Day held special significance for the believers of the Genesis Goddess Church for that very reason, which was why the Holy Capital would organize huge events on this very day every year. Believers would deliver their wishes for the New Year in their prayers and ask for Sia’s blessing. Even the heretics would immerse themselves in the festivities and enjoy the day.

As the successor to the Genesis Goddess Church, Nora was obliged to observe traditions and spend the day as demanded by the doctrines. This went for the devout inquisitors as well.

In other words, this day was going to be unlike any other. The entire convoy was united in their wish to take a break on this very day.

After being awoken by Nora, Roel spent a moment tidying himself up before stepping down from the carriage together with her. He gazed at the eastern horizon and patiently awaited the arrival of daybreak.

Rustling sounds could be heard as the heretics slipped out of their tents one by one to join them. Their eyes were all directed toward the eastern horizon as they fervently held onto a wish in their hearts.

The tragedy that befell Tark Stronghold had resulted in the disappearance of over a hundred thousand transcendents. Having witnessed the disaster with their own eyes, both the inquisitors and heretics felt deeply unnerved. They sought something that could ease their worries and allay their fears, something they could fall back on during these times of despair.

Rodney and Wood led the heretics of the Strength Sect on a silent prayer whereas Cynthia clasped her hands before her chest.

As the Mother of All Beings, Sia was a god that the heretics revered and prayed to as well.

Even Roel took on a rare prayerful attitude.

He had never been one to believe in prayers. While he had attended the prayer sessions during New Year’s Day before, it was out of obligation as a noble. However, the divine silhouette he had witnessed during the advancement of his Origin Level changed his mind. Even now, the warmth that came straight from Her soul was still fresh in his mind.

Unlike others, he wasn’t praying out of piousness or to have his wish fulfilled. He just wanted to relay his gratitude. If Sia was really able to gaze upon the world through the first ray of sunlight on New Year’s Day, he thought that he ought to thank her more than anything else.

With great anticipation, the morning sun finally revealed its glory by the horizon, scattering its radiance throughout the world. The heretics and the inquisitors swiftly closed their eyes and began praying, hoping to relay their hopes to Sia through the light.

Nora unfurled her light wings, emitting a warm and beautiful glow.

Roel turned his focus to his own bloodline and attempted to recall the divine silhouette he had seen back then. It might have just been his imagination, but when he thought about the warm light She emanated, he got a vague feeling that someone was gazing upon him.

While he called it a ‘gaze’, it didn’t feel like he was being watched. To be more exact, it was a fleeting feeling that he was wrapped amidst a bundle of warmth, though this sensation only lasted for an instant. He opened his eyes and saw that the crowd was already done with their prayers.

It appeared that quite some time had passed unknowingly.

The sun had already fully risen. Rodney and the others were already done with their ritual, and the devout inquisitors were slowly rising to their feet. Nora, who had already retracted her light wings at some point during his prayer, was staring at Roel in surprise.

“I didn’t expect you to take the prayers so seriously this year. How surprising.”

“… Did I pray for a long time?”

“Twice as long as me. You didn’t realize it?”

“…”

Roel quietly shook his head, wondering if the earlier sensation was yet another memory fragment in his bloodline. On the other hand, Nora was quite curious about Roel’s wish.

“What kind of wish did you make for you to require such a long prayer?”

“Nothing much. I just wished for everyone around me to remain safe and healthy.”

“What an ordinary wish… then again, there’s nothing easy about that given the era we’re in.”

Reminded of the recent disappearance of her loved one, a sorrowful smile emerged on Nora’s lips. Her sadness was contagious; Roel felt a dull pain in his chest. He thought that he should say something to console her, but before he could speak a word, Nora suddenly pinched his cheek lightly.

“It’s a decent wish, but what about yourself? Shouldn’t you include yourself in your own wish?”

“… I forgot about that, but it’s not important.”

“How is it not important? If something happens to the person who made the wish, don’t you think that the people around him will be in grief? You’re fortunate that I’ve got you covered.”

“Hm?”

Roel looked at Nora in confusion. The latter’s lips gently inched upward.

“My wish is for me and everyone I love to be safe and blissful.”

“!”

It was such simple words, yet they carried such heavy meaning that Roel couldn’t help but widen his eyes. After a moment of silence, he looked into Nora’s sapphire eyes and replied with an affirmative nod.

“They will be. I’m certain of that.”

StarveCleric's Notes:

Do check out the translated manhua at ZeroScans!
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ℭ𝔥𝔢𝔠𝔨 𝔬𝔲𝔱 𝔪𝔶 𝔬𝔱𝔥𝔢𝔯 𝔫𝔬𝔳𝔢𝔩𝔰:
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Library of Heaven's Path
Martial God Asura from Chapter 4320
Written by Bells on Cat Ears (猫耳铃铛). Translated by StarveCleric. Edited by Welmar, Lemonan.